Monday, 3 November 2008

This dog does not bark




The basenji is a hunting dog that originated in central Africa. Basenjis are generally quiet dogs and their pecularity is that they do not bark. However, they produce a wide variety of sounds including yodels, crows, chortles, howls, growls, and some which are simply beyond description. Each dog has it's own repertoire and it is rare to find two that sound alike. Hence the nickname “voiceless or barkless dog”.
The basenji is one of the most ancient dog breeds and has been venerated by humans for thousands of years. Basenjis can be seen on steles in the tombs of pharaohs, sitting at the feet of their masters, looking just as they do today, with pricked ears and tightly curled tails. Anubis, often seen sitting atop of a tomb to protect it, is the Egyptian God associated with the burial of kings, the dead and mummification, definitely bears the basenji’s features.
The breed had almost totally disappeared from the West when Europeans came across it in the Congo in 1895. However, attempts to breed basenjis failed due to litters being wiped out by distemper. In the 1940’s, a succesful litter in Boston ensured the survival of the breed.

11 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Do you think they still live in the Congo?

rosiero said...

It just goes to show that the dog has been man's best friend for millennia. I love the way the one in the picture is crossing its paws.

Eurodog said...

WW,
Who still lives in the Congo?

Winchester whisperer said...

You said the Europeans came across the dogs in the Congo

Flowerpot said...

I love the way that one's paws are crossed so neatly - almost like a cat.

Violets new Vintage said...

I've come across this breed at the shelter several times. They all seem to be very independent. Thank you for the very informative post.

Eurodog said...

WW,
I said 1895 long before independence from Belgium. Quite a different picture today. Today nobody cares. Is it because they speak French?

jmb said...

I had a friend with a barkless basenji. It was a bit disconcerting. The problem was he was a terrible chewer which she never managed to cure him of so she used to take him to work with her.

Winchester whisperer said...

Peut-etre, ED

James Higham said...

More interesting stuff on dog breeds. Didn't know much about these before.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I just love that picture of the dog with its paws crossed. Sparky sits exactly the same way.

CJ xx